Maintain Choice and Diversity in Australian Out of School Hours care sector
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There has been a proposed merger between the two largest outside school hours care providers in the country, Camp Australia owned by Bain Capital and Junior Adventures Group, known as JAG, who owns OSHClub and Helping Hands and is partly owned by Advent.
Approval of this merger is now being considered by the ACCC.
The ACCC has now announced it will accept comments from interested parties regarding the proposed merger of Camp Australia and Junior Adventures Group by 22 June 2017.
Submissions should be forwarded electronically to email@example.com with the title: "Re: Camp Australia - attention Georgia Dixon / John Rouw".
Alternatively submissions may be mailed to the Merger Investigations Branch, ACCC, GPO Box 3648, Sydney NSW 2001.
The merger will result in a third of Australia's Out of School Hours care services being owned by one major foreign investment company. This company already has early childhood services so we can expect the market share of ECEC as a whole to increase.
This company will have access to the records of Australian children and families and be in receipt of the Australian government subsidies for families.
The risk of limited diversity in the sector impacts on us all. The collapse of a major long day care provider (ABC learning) in the last decade left the Australian taxpayer footing the bill for bailing out early childhood services across Australia.
Out of School Hours services are won and lost on tenders and in schools, any large takeover is a risky proposition for the community as there is no capital investment required and once established in a school parental choice is removed.
It is time to fight for the Out of School Hours Sector to remain Australian owned and managed. Our children are not for sale.
Our OSHC services should remain in an environment where healthy competition is available to promote affordable, quality care where the needs of children not investors come first.
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